The financial sector will require a workforce of about 200,000 in 2020
By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE ISLAMIC Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) aims to train 200 auditors annually with the Certified Professional Shariah Auditor (CPSA) programme to cater to the strong demand of Shariah-compliant auditors in Islamic financial institutions (IFIs).
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah (picture) said this move was in line with Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) policy document on Shariah governance implementation within IFIs. The policy initiative is expected to take effect from April 1, 2020.
“As Shariah audit is considered a new competency area, the number of qualified Shariah auditors is relatively small. CPSA aims to produce qualified Shariah auditors with integrated knowledge of Shariah, accounting, auditing, risk and governance. Hence, CPSA is specifically developed to bridge the gap,” the minister said at the launch of the CPSA programme in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.
Citing BNM’s Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020, Amiruddin highlighted the financial sector will require a workforce of about 200,000 in 2020, an increase of 56,000 from the 144,000 employees in 2011.
The country’s IFIs comprise 16 Islamic banks, 15 takaful operators and 22 Islamic fund management companies with a further 31 fund management companies operating through Islamic windows with assets under management of RM158.8 billion.
The accelerated growth of the Islamic finance industry has created immense challenges especially for a pool of competent Islamic finance talents.
“The Islamic finance industry not only needs talents in Shariah operations review but also in conducting Shariah audit,” he added.
According to BNM’s recent statistics, total Islamic banking assets stood at RM748 billion at the end of May this year, which was 9.3% higher year-on-year (YoY). For comparison, the total assets of the banking system grew 5% YoY to RM2.73 billion.
Islamic based financing currently accounts for 34.1% of the total financing, while Islamic banking assets stood at 31.4% against a meagre 14% back in 2008.
“The Islamic finance industry continues to record healthy growth and able to integrate social-finance in its product offerings. This is to leverage the strengths of Islamic banking for greater accessibility, governance and transparency,” Amiruddin added.
IBFIM’s chairman Datuk Mohamed Rafique Merican said CPSA aims to produce a pool of competent Shariah auditors who will uphold the Shariah governance within IFIs and would play an integral role in the Islamic financial system stability.
He said this will further strengthen consumers’ confidence in the integrity, management and business operations of the IFIs.
“CPSA is uniquely driven as it is industry-driven. Jointly developed with Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, the syllabus was reviewed by 29 CPSA development committee members from the IFIs and academicians,” he said.
Mohamed Rafique added IBFIM is in the process of securing full accreditation for CPSA with Malaysia’s Finance Accreditation Agency and plans to work with international professional bodies for programme to be globally recognised.
“This would enhance CPSA graduates’ mobility and allow them to work anywhere in the world,” he said.